Dr. Kiltz has chosen Love and Infertility by Kristen Magnacca for our book of the month. Our offices have worked closely with Kristen to offer further support to our patients throughout their journeys. This book has also served as the starting point to the three part Love & Infertility Workshops held by Kristen and Dr. Kiltz in each office location. Kristen will be presenting Part 2 of the Workshop Series, at our CNY Fertility Center in Latham, NY on February 27th. Email Kristen directly to RSVP at firstname.lastname@example.org.
There are many great tools in this book, and I have highlighted a few of them below. If you have not yet read Love and Infertility, pick up a copy in one of our offices, or contact me and I can get one to you!
The Fertility Game Plan
This chapter speaks of the importance having an honest, in-depth discussion before you begin treatments. This idea is to establish your expectations and limits for the expected treatment options. This way when you are faced with decisions you are confident and prepared. Similarly, if the first combination of medications and procedures are unsuccessful, you have already anticipated what the next step would be, and what your feelings towards it are. Here are the questions Kristen suggests you ask yourself to create your own plan:
– Would you use donor sperm?
– Would you use donor eggs?
– How many eggs would you implant?
– Would you selectively reduce?
– What are your thoughts about assisted hatching?
– Would you consider a surrogate mom?
– What are three things you expect from each other if ever you find yourselves in a critical situation such as an ectopic pregnancy or a miscarriage?
– What would be your stopping point?
– What strategies for compromise would you implement if this stopping point were not agreed upon?
– Would you consider adoption?
(Love and Infertility pg. 18)
All of these are great questions to have answered before you proceed. However, remember to be flexible as your emotions and feelings may change as you progress though your cycles. It is OK to change your mind.
Keep Time in Perspective
How often do you think to yourself ‘I’m running out of time’, ‘I am getting too old’, ‘I only have a few more chances’? It is natural to have a ticking clock in the back of your mind, but it can cause a great deal of anxiety. It is important to constantly remind yourself that you are doing everything you can, and that the pace is just right for you, right now. Kristen shares some heartfelt advice in this chapter:
“How can you keep time in perspective? I believe that things happen for a reason and each of us is where we should be, doing exactly what we should be doing, at every moment in time. You can take the following measures and give yourself permission to be happy with the work you do.
Recognize: Tell yourself that you are in the process of creating your child, and you are right where you need to be today, doing exactly what you are supposed to be doing, and what you accomplish is enough. You’ve done enough.
Reassess: Just like when you are at work and, in the heat of what you are doing, you don’t always notice your efforts, the same is true regarding the steps you are taking to make parenthood a reality. You might not think that you have done anything to move the ball closer to creating a family, but in reality you are! Have you eaten correctly? Yes! Taken your folic acid or vitamins? Yes! Your partner has on his boxers, correct? You’re monitoring your cycle, and documenting the time of your ovulation, right? Of course you are! You’ve had blood tests and an ultrasound to assess your fertility cycle, right? All these are part of the process of creating and the concept of being in the moment. Appreciate yourself and your accomplishments.
Remind: Finally, remind yourself that what is consistent in any process is the beginning, middle, and then end. You’re doing everything you can, starting at the beginning, working through the middle, and anticipating a positive ending.” (Love and Infertility pg. 127)
It’s Okay to Take a Time-Out
It is easy common to feel like you are constantly racing. Racing time, yourself, the universe. It can be exhausting. Kristen addresses five ways to slow down, and take a break with your partner, or with yourself. I have added an ellipsis to indicate that Kristen discusses the matter further, and can be found in her book.
“Take a time-out. At one time or another, I believe every couple has experienced those “prickly” feelings in their relationship, and, in my book, a time-out is the best way to clear the air. Physically moving out of each other’s energy and personal space can do wonders for your emotional health and rejuvenate your feelings toward your partner.
Pause and regroup. Take a moment to calm down and breathe deeply for a few seconds…
Assess the situation. As difficult as it may be, emotionally remove yourself from the battle and try not to take everything personally…
Find the lesson. Rather than dwelling on the negative, try to view your disagreements as chances to learn how to resolve your interpersonal conflicts more quickly and easily…
Put on your romance goggles. Try to get back to the earlier “dates” of your relationship in your mind’s eye and bring back those romantic, he-or she-can-do-no-wrong feelings…” (Love and Infertility pg. 156)
These, and many more tools can be found in Kristen’s book. It is a great companion to any fertility journey, and is a wonderful introduction into her workshops with Dr. Kiltz. Visit the calendar at www.cnyhealingarts.com for her next event here at CNY Fertility.